Thursday, August 11, 2011

Old Buffet Gets a New Life

When Lobster and I moved into our little cottage just over a year ago, we had some okay furniture and some not-okay furniture. I guess that's typical for newlyweds who have only lived in tiny apartments. But as soon as we got our house, I knew I had to do something about the lack of "real" furniture we had going on.

But, like most newlywed, first-time homebuyers, we were on a budget. Also, our house is not the biggest and I wanted to keep the living spaces as open and airy as possible. So I've had to get pretty creative with some things.

For instance, when we moved in, we were living with a giant flat-screen t.v. on a tiny little particle board t.v. stand. It was not pretty. In fact, it was so disturbing to me that I decided it was the first thing in our living room that needed to be remedied. I knew I didn't want a large entertainment center because it was too bulky and it would crowd the living room. But I couldn't handle a simple table either because I wanted a bit of storage for our favorite DVDs and the all important Blu-Ray player.

So I did some brainstorming and researching and spending an inordinate amount of time on Pinterest and Craigslist....where I found this:


I apologize for the quality of the picture. It came off of Craigslist. Anyhoo, yes, that is an antique buffet table, generally used in dining rooms. But as soon as I saw that baby, the gears in my old noggin starting turning. I was fairly certain I could use this as an entertainment unit if I did a little tweaking.


We drove about an hour and spent $120 ($100 for the buffet and $20 to rent a truck at Lowe's) and soon we were the proud new owners of an antique buffet. As soon as we got it home, I took out the top dresser and was delighted to find that it was joined at the sides by dovetails. So I grabbed my trusty rubber mallet and I gently hammered the sides of the drawer away from the drawer front. The sides and back of the drawer came off fairly easily and in tact, which was a bonus in case I ever wanted to put the drawer back together again.


Then I laid the bottom of the drawer on the space it had occupied when the drawer was in the unit, acting as a "floor" in that space. My idea was to create from the front drawer panel and "faux" drawer that would tip open and closed instead of opening as a drawer. But first, I had to find hinges that would allow the panel to lay flush against the rest of the unit when closed and lay flat when opened. I literally bought and returned 7 different kinds of hinges until I found a pair that would work.


Finally, I installed the hinges to the lip of the drawer frame on the buffet and to the bottom of the drawer front panel and VOILA, a tip-open faux drawer!


We also had to drill a hole in the back of the buffet so that we could run our wires through to the outlet in the wall. The bottom drawer and the side cabinets hold DVDs, a Wii, CDs, etc. I forgot to take pictures of all this. Bad blogger.

You also might have noticed, I changed out the old, gold hardware with knobs I found at Hobby Lobby for $2 a piece. These may or may not stay, depending on what I do next...

Now my dilemma is...do I paint the buffet? The wood finish on it is nice and it's in good shape. It matches the other wood in my living room (side tables, coffee table, floor), but I think that might be the problem. It's all so...woody. I'm toying with the idea of painting the buffet white and distressing or antiquing it, similar to what I did with Eloise, the French chair.

 (That's Bella the kitty. She's shy.)

I need your opinion! To paint or not to paint?

Ready...discuss!

10 comments:

Amy said...

What happened to the cool pulls that were on it in the picture from Craigslist? They looked better than the white ones, IMO.

Paint it!

Joy said...

@Amy--Thanks for your input! I still have the original pulls and I have thought about putting them back on the piece. I'd have to paint them because I'm not a fan of gold hardware, but I want to decide whether or not to paint the piece before I decide on the hardware.

I'd love to hear more opinions on the hardware as well as whether to paint the buffet or not? Thoughts?

Hilary Decker said...

I did the same thing with an old buffet. I painted mine a really pale blue and added" Jadeite" pulls. I think you should paint it. I also hacked off a good 4" inches off the legs so it wouldn't be so high. Your legs are really pretty so probably not an option. The buffet as a painted piece blended into the room really well. In its original form it called too much attention to its self. Sorry this is so long....If you wanna see a pic let me know...

Hannah said...

Love what you did with the drawer, and hiding all the TV gadgets. I think you should paint it as well. I liked the way you painted Eloise, but I'm also all for crisp white painted antique furniture at the moment. And I'm on an anti-wood jag too :)

Cheryl said...

I agree about the original hardware, and I would not paint them even though you don't like the gold. I love the original finish on the buffet, but if you decide to paint it, I'm sure that would be nice too. If it were mine, I would leave it the way it is unless it looks out of place with your other furnishings. Sorry, I guess this opinion doesn't help much...

Cheryl said...

Great job on the buffet!

Holly said...

I definitely think you should paint it. It's a beautiful piece but right now it looks too old ladyish. Antiquing it would switch the feel from old lady to romantic.

I just have to tell you that you are totally inspiring me to start refinishing furniture! You are so good at it, and everything is turning out so lovely!

InteriorGroupie said...

I agree that painting it would be beautiful...and it seems like you need a mix in the room with the other wood furniture you have. It is the PERFECT piece for your TV though! I can't wait to see what you do with it...am new to your blog but so excited to read more! Now following!

*uncorked said...

I would paint it and then decide on the hardware.

Also, you do know the definition of addict right? You might need help...

Stiltskin Studios said...

we did this for our TV, also! I think my husband cried when I separated the drawer fronts...but is holds EVERYTHING, even the Xbox and Wii! You love it, right??

Mine is still unpainted, simply for lack of motivation, um, I mean time. No time...lol

If you haven't already, I vote for paint!

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